Falcon and Winter Soldier theory: Episode two sets up major player for Marvel’s Phase Five
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: Disney+ release new trailer
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Sam Wilson (played by Anthony Mackie) and James ‘Bucky’ Barnes (Sebastian Stan) take centre stage in Marvel’s new superhero series for Disney+, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. As eagle-eyed comic book enthusiasts get their hands on each episode, an easy to miss Easter egg seems to have already set up a key player in the future of the franchise.
Marvel fans have spotted a major comic book character hidden in the cast of the MCU’s latest streaming series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In the second episode, ‘The Star-Spangled Man’, Sam and Bucky pay a visit to an old rival of the Winter Soldier from the Korean War, Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly).
Much like his comic book counterpart, Bradley is a retired super soldier who was experimented on with a similar serum to the one that gave Captain America (Chris Evans) his superhuman abilities.
Once holding the title of Captain America himself, Bradley is also the grandfather of one of the founding members of the Young Avengers, Patriot.
Although his role in the series has so far been limited, Patriot appears in the form of Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson), Isaiah’s nervous grandson.
After his brief cameo, fans are expecting Eli to eventually play a larger role in the ongoing series and, eventually, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
Viewers have since flooded to online forums to speculate what Eli’s short appearance could mean for the future of the franchise.
On Reddit, one fan wrote: “Does [this] mean the young kid who answered the door’s gonna be part of the Young Avengers someday??”
While another said: “If they plan on setting up a Young Avengers team, which they clearly seem to be laying the groundwork for, then they have to introduce Patriot.”
Patriot made his first appearance in 2005 when a young hero known as Iron Lad began looking for the next generation of Avengers.
After falsely claiming he had inherited his grandfather’s superpowers, Patriot joins the team with Steve Rogers’ blessing, who grants him the use of his original triangular shield.
It now appears the big and small screen adaptation of the sprawling comic book universe will follow a similar route after the catastrophic events of Avengers: Endgame.
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Newcomer Elijah Richardson has yet to be confirmed for appearances in future Marvel projects, but is expected to eventually return as Eli Bradley.
Meanwhile, a number of films and series in the franchise’s past and future have already set up key members of the young team of heroes.
Audiences have already been introduced to Wiccan and Speed in Marvel’s first series for Disney+, WandaVision.
Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) lost her twin boys, Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) when her illusions were destroyed, but the final scene of the miniseries suggested they are still alive somewhere in the multiverse.
Additionally, fans have already met the daughter of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Cassie Lang (set to be played by Kathryn Newton), while set photos have confirmed Hailee Steinfeld will be taking on the mantle of Hawkeye.
The fifth ‘Phase’ of the MCU doesn’t have a confirmed starting date, but there’s a strong chance the multimedia franchise will kick off the next chapter with the formation of the Young Avengers.
Thankfully, there’s still plenty to look forward to in Marvel’s Phase Four, as COVID delays have moved Black Widow, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man and Eternals to a 2021 release.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continues Fridays on Disney+.
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